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's a total mess. it's a bureaucratic nightmare. it is the epitome of red tape. >> reporter: paul heads a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving veterans. he claims the veterans administration was woefully ill prepared for the flood of veterans coming out of the wars in iraq and afghanistan. >> i think it's a failure of leadership and i think really it's a failure of planning. >> reporter: and amazingly the va still relies primarily on paper documents. at its center in winston-salem, north carolina, the tremendous weight of tens of thousands of claims threaten to collapse an entire floor of the building. the files were recently moved as the va is just now beginning to digitize new claims. but as the backlog mounted, so did veterans suicides. the va launched a hotline in part to help those veterans so bogged down in the system they lost all hope. >> i'll stay on the phone with you. >> reporter: any veteran caught in the va's red tape who is a threat to himself or others is pushed to the front of the line. >> he's homicidal, he wants to shoot the police. >> reporter: the va pledges t
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